Pipeline company Kinder Morgan to buy Hiland Partners for $3 billion by Reuters @FortuneMagazine January 21, 2015, 4:00 PM EST E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons (REUTERS) – Kinder Morgan will buy Hiland Partners, a pipeline and logistics company founded by Continental Resources CLR Chief Executive Officer Harold Hamm, for $3 billion, the company said on Wednesday. Hiland Partners builds and operates oil gathering and transportation pipelines and natural gas gathering and processing systems primarily in the Bakken shale oilfields in North Dakota and Montana. Hiland’s customers include Continental and Hess Corp. HES . The deal, slated to close during the first quarter of this year, will give Kinder Morgan a premier position in pipelines and logistics in the Bakken, the company said. The $3 billion includes assumption of debt. Hiland’s assets include the new Double H 84,000 barrels-per-day pipeline that will move Bakken crude from North Dakota to Tallgrass Energy Partners’ Pony Express pipeline in Wyoming. From there, Bakken flows will move to the U.S. crude futures hub in Cushing, Oklahoma via the Pony Express. The pipeline is expected to start up by the end of January. Additionally, Kinder Morgan KMI said co-founder Rich Kinder will step down as chief executive this summer. He will be replaced by Steve Kean, who has been groomed to take the top job. Kinder will become executive chairman when Kean takes over on June 1, the company said in a news release.